Water Plaza at Linn Creek Wins Central States ASLA Merit Award

Last week, along with our friends at the City of Marshalltown, Arts & Culture Alliance, and artist Hilde DeBruyne, we accepted a Central States ASLA Merit Award for the design of the Water Plaza at Linn Creek District in Marshalltown, Iowa. This project is a great example of creating a public space inspired by culture and community and a great display of creative placemaking.

The City of Marshalltown hired the team of Bolton & Menk, Artist Hilde Debruyne, and Waters Edge Aquatic Design to lead a design and community engagement effort for a new water plaza at Mega-10 Park in the Linn Creek District of the Marshalltown community. The city recognized the importance of a process focused on quality design as well as strong community engagement, which has led to an impactful, inclusive design that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of Marshalltown residents.

Water Plaza at Linn Creek Community Engagement Water Plaza at Linn Creek Community Engagement

Through the engagement process, the team discovered many people had very fond family memories of time spent on the water; playfulness, relaxation, and summer fun came to mind. The master plan concept developed by the design team captured these feelings in an inclusive design, accessible and enjoyable by all. The idea of skipping stones unites people from different origins and ages, as they fondly remember this whimsical activity. For some it is purely for fun, especially for the young; for others it can be a type of meditation and mindfulness, watching the concentric circles slowly ripple. For parents teaching their kids how to find the perfect stone and the best skipping technique, it is a fun way of bonding and teaching science at the same time.

The site and sculpture were designed together to create a series of “ripples” in a rhythmic pattern with timed fountains strategically placed throughout the plaza to create the effect of a stone being skipped with multiple arches “skipping” toward the center of the water plaza. The skipping fountains culminate in the center near the sculpture as the network of center jets splashes outward.

Water Plaza at Linn Creek Rendering Water Plaza at Linn Creek Central States ASLA Merit Award

Attendees of the 2024 Central States ASLA Awards included Casey Byers, Brianna Hanke, Eric Holt, Nate Weitl, Amber Danielson from the Arts & Culture Alliance, Hilde DeBruyne, and Geoff Hubbard from the City of Marshalltown. Congratulations to the entire project team for their hard work and dedication to bring this community staple to life!

Water Plaza at Linn Creek Central States ASLA Merit Award Water Plaza at Linn Creek Project Team with Central States ASLA Merit Award

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